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Monday, March 3, 2014


By Sunday Samuel Worok

Sandakan : Some two hundred participants, mainly young people attended the two-hour session on 'ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE' campaign held on 16th February 2014 from 10.30 am - 12.30 pm at St Mary's Parish Hall. The event was organised by the Parish Youth Apostolate in collaboration with the Good Shepherd Sisters.
The event is a call to survivors to break the silence and release the stories of both pain and hope – through art, song … and whatever way best expresses their outrage, their need, their desire, and their joy. The path to justice begins with acknowledging and recognizing the violence – letting it be known.” – Eve Ensler, a lifelong social justice activist.
One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. That is one billion women. The event was supposed to be held globally on 14th February 2014, where one billion + people would rise, release and dance to demand justice for all survivors of gender violence, and call for an end to the rampant impunity that prevails globally. However, the event was held at the Cathedral Parish on Sunday, 16th February to the convenience of the local youth.
Sr Maria Dipal rgs
An insight to the campaign was presented by Sr Barbara Lip rgs through a power point presentation. She highlighted as to why Catholics should support the event. Our faith celebrates life, calling us to treat one another as we would like to be treated, with respect, compassion and kindness. However, women and girls are often treated with far less respect, compassion and kindness ~ confronted with violence and abuse. The reality is an affront to our core values and beliefs. Violence against any member of the human family can never be justified.

Sr Maria Dipal rgs facilitated the 2nd session with slides on child abuse and violence against women. She picked up on the John 8 : 4 - 9 regarding the woman caught in adultery. While man tends to identify the sinner with sin, the heavenly Father instead has sent his Son into the world to everyone a way to salvation. 'Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again', this, we recognize as 'good news' for we long to rediscover the true sense of mercy and pardon.

The final session was facilitated by Jellferlyne Joseph on 'Orange Day', its background and meaning. It is an initiative by the United Nation, a call to Unite to End Violence against Women. It is celebrated on 25th of every month to raise awareness to prevent violence against women and girls.
We must speak out against violence against women and girls whenever there is an opportunity to ensure that the violence and suffering stops here and now.  We resolve to make violence against women and girls history, so that future generations of our young people can grow up in harmony and peace, without violence. 
And so today, let us rise to join together in one voice as women and men of faith, ready to speak out in solidarity with those who have been silenced; we must advocate for their right to live healthy and dignified lives.  We must prevent the violence from persisting unattended.

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